Kanye West Is Inspired By Lupe Fiasco And Tweets About The ‘B’ Word In Hip-Hop


I was beginning to wonder if anybody else was still thinking about Lupe Fiasco’s new video. Lupe wrote a song called Bitch Bad, challenging the state of modern Hip-Hop, specifically our fondness for bitches and bad bitches and such. The video debuted recently and the visuals were a stunning interpretation of an already brilliant track, as Lupe went on to align rap music and culture with minstrel shows. Many PITNBRS (shouts out to Erica Croce, Lexie, Ella, and Jen) joined me in applauding Lupe for challenging the art form he participates in and loves. It looks like we weren’t the only ones affected by his words; fellow Chicago rapper Kanye West took to Twitter today and addressed the serious issue of respect for women (or lack thereof) in Hip-Hop. Having used the word ‘bitch’ plenty in his music, Kanye did not condemn the word, but he tweeted a series of questions, perhaps in hopes of getting a conversation started. Deets and tweets inside.

Complex called it a Twitter rant, I’ll call it #HipHopTheory101:

That last tweet is Lupe’s video. Now what’s interesting is that Kanye West was just featured on 2Chainz’s Birthday Song track and the video that they put out left such a bad taste in my mouth (especially after experiencing Lupe’s video) I didn’t even post it on PITNB. And y’all know I love me some 2Chaaaainz! And Yeezy! But it was bad.

However, I will post that video alongside Lupe’s here, because I think it will make for interesting conversation. And I am so glad that Kanye is thinking these thoughts ‘aloud,’ even if it’s ‘only’ on Twitter, and even if somewhere, somebody (possibly me) is singing that Kanye line that’s all like, ‘Can I have a bad bitch wit’out no flaws/Tell her come and meet me wit’out no drawers’ (shouts out to DirectLyrics).

What do you guys think of Kanye’s tweets??? Often, when I hear the word ‘bitch’ in rap, I just remind myself that they’re not talking about me (or at least, I try to convince myself of that). Lol, I assume they’re talking about skrippers and groupies and the women who’ve done them slimy and grimy over the years. However, Kanye is right to point out that the music has desensitized us to the word, and Lupe’s video addresses this specifically. Casual or ‘friendly’ use of the word ‘bitch’ is extremely problematic. Check out the videos and share your thoughts in the comments!


  • Lauri

    I’m far less concerned about swearing (Be it the ‘n’ word or the ‘b’ word) than I am about the actual lyrical content of some music, specifically a lot of rap music. Some of my coworkers listen to some really hideous stuff (Raping a pregnant bitch, saying it’s a threesome, being an example) is some pretty prominent artist’s music. I enjoy hip-hop and rap quite a bit, but I don’t see how this is acceptable.

    • Sam

      You’re talking about Tyler, The Creator…he does a lot of stuff specifically for shock value, but his lyrical content deserves a closer inspection. Many of his lyrics are far deeper and have double meanings. I think he’s great! And I also think, Lupe is great. That 2Chainz video is a mess though…

    • Shannon

      Lauri and Sam– I haven’t really, really listened to Odd Future or Tyler The Creator but I hear that they go for shock value and say horrific, awful things… and that critics (and their fans) absolutely love them. However, I did used to listen to DMX and he’s said some pretty creepy things. Some people do want to listen to music that reflects a certain darkness, but it’s not for everyone. You could say the same about many art forms, I suppose.

  • Ella

    I think it’s fantastic that Lupe has essentially opened a dialogue and Kanye West has decided to join it. It’s nice to see a prominent rapper like Kanye becoming thoughtful. Although I don’t see the words completely disappearing, I think talking about their meanings and the effect they have on those listening is potentially an equalizing effect.

    • Shannon

      Ella, Kanye is so arrogant it’s great to hear him admit that he’s not sure about an issue. The fact that he was willing to admit that he hates to be questioned about his music, but is starting to see the validity in some of those questions is very interesting. And because Lupe is not as mainstream as Kanye, it’s great to see his ideas getting pumped out there. I like that you say, ‘an equalizing effect’ is totally possible here; that would be a great thing.

  • Amanda

    I think it’s a matter of choice. I love the fact that we have Lupe Fiasco as an option to some of the grotesque lyrics offered by some other rappers or musicians. I know that when I have a kid in the future, I won’t 100% be able to control what they listen to or what they’re exposed to, but I will hopefully be able to tell them that “Hey, you can choose what you listen to, but I also want you to know that there are rappers and musicians who write and talk and sing about things others than sex and demeaning women”. So the fact that Lupe Fiasco is making his opinions heard and seen out there is comforting to me. I love his music, I love his views on many issues. There are some I disagree with but how can you disagree with wanting children to address and treat women and people in general respectfully?

    Hopefully Kanye, with the fanbase that he has, is able to help challenge the way some of his young fans think.

    • Shannon

      Amanda, yes– it’s definitely important that people know that for every ‘Birthday Song’ video there is (somewhere) a ‘Bitch Bad’ video. I’m hoping some other rappers might, like Kanye, contribute to the visibility of artists like Lupe… and maybe take his words into consideration as well. Thanks for commenting Amanda!

  • Whit

    I think it’s great Kanye is questioning his use of the word “bitch”. I remember a slight uproar when hearing about a new song one his album referring to Kim as “the perfect bitch”. He, as many knew meant it as a compliment, but the question remains: Is calling someone a bitch every a good thing? I think we, as a society, in many ways have accepted some words into our mainstream vocab without much question since the words are flooded everywhere. I see women walking around downtown Chicago with “Bad Bitch” t-shirts (it boggles my mind that stores actually sell shirts saying that). It is important to question these these words and their meaning, does taking a once negative word and making its mainstream meaning positive take away the negative? Many questioned Jay-Z when Blue Ivy was born after he announced he no longer would use the word “bitch”, some said he should have stopped years ago, or at least after marrying Beyonce. But I simply think as we grow older, our notions changed, for Jay it was having a daughter that under no circumstance would he want to be called that word, or Yeezy it was another rapper’s song. I still agree with Lupe, Woman good, Bitch Bad, Lady Better.

    • Shannon

      Whit, I heard about that Yeezy song. I think at a certain point, we all know we’re kind of kidding ourselves if we really think we can strip a word of ALL its negative connotations. That’s why I like that Kanye asked if these are words we’d ever use towards our parents, because there’s a huge issue of respect here.

      Those t-shirts?!?! LMAO. Hell naw.

  • kat :)

    Just want to pop in and say I love all the conversations that Shannon has been bringing to PITNB. I always love reading the comments, and for the most part am impressed with how civil & nice everyone is to each other! Thanks Trent for bringing her aboard :)

    • @kat :) — Shannon is pretty fab, huh? I love her as much as you guys do :D

    • Shannon

      kat :) We have an amazing readership on PITNB. I’m always impressed with the way you all engage with me and each other.

      Anyway, y’all are getting me a lil’ emotional over here. I had a nutty weekend, and all of the support from you guys means so much to me! Without question, I have the best job (and the best mentor in TRENT) ever. Seriously, kat :) and Trent, thank you.

      I’m not tearing up or anything. I’m fine.

    • Sam

      Just blame it on those darn chopped onions in the corner!